"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Laminator and drying rack suggestions

The teachers at my school were recently asked to fill out a 'wish list' letter to Santa. We were able to ask for one thing for our classroom and one thing for the school. I went all out (why not, right?) and asked for a drying rack for my art room (I actually don't have one) and a large roll laminator for the school (we only have a small one currently). Today I found out I can get both- Yay! Thanks Santa :)

I've never bought either before- they've just always been in previous schools I've worked in. If any art teachers out there could give me suggestions of types/brands they like, I'd be super grateful. I'm located in Canada if that makes any difference.

Here's what I'm looking for:

Drying rack:

The drying rack needs to be a floor model as I have zero available wall space. Something that holds a minimum of 20 artworks. A large-ish size- maybe something that holds up to 18 x 24" paper? My biggest thing is that the draying racks lay fairly flat- I've had racks before that have a slight tilt to them, and then watercolour paintings or glue line paintings tend to drip :( 
Budget: anything up to $500
Laminator: I have no real experience with them. Basically something that's going to be big enough to laminate large posters. I have no clue how much these cost, so any suggestions will be great.
Thank you to any and all suggestions! Add them to the comments please!

Sunday, December 14, 2014


This is a perfect winter art lesson for all the "Frozen" fans out there. My Grade 3 students loved this project! To start off, I put a photo of Olaf up on my big screen TV. The students were able to refer to this while they did a pencil drawing of Olaf. 

One student also brought in her Olaf stuffie, so we had him up on display for reference as well :)

Once Olaf was drawn, I showed students how to lightly shade one side of him 
using a grey coloured pencil. Then we cut him out.

We then worked on the background- we drew three layers on light blue construction paper: the sky, some simple hills and a frozen pond. We coloured this using chalk pastels and varying the direction of our line: diagonal for the shy, curved lines for the hills and horizontal lines for the ice. 
We blended, blended and blended some more with our fingers.

Then Olaf was glued on- use white glue because glue sticks didn't work for us.

My sample

We cut out arms and 'hair' using brown paper.

They came out so cute and happy!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Winter Cardinals

This is a cute 2 winter lesson  that my Grade 2's really enjoyed.

The first class they drew cardinals in pencil. I encouraged them to draw large and fill the paper. Then they outlined them in a black wax crayon and painted them using red liquid tempera.
Once dry, I added red glitter to their wings- they had the option of that or a red feather. 
Only about 3 chose the feather. The next class they cut these out.

Then they chose either a blue or pink sheet of 9 x 12" construction paper for the background. They placed their cardinal on the paper where they wanted it, then drew branches around it.

The branches were coloured in using oil pastels.
As you can see below, I've started using paper placemats underneath the kids work to protect the tables. They're great (when I remember to actually bring them out).
I found the idea for the placemats on the wonderful Painted Paper blog.

Once the branches were completed, students added pine needles. Then, using white tempera pint, they dipped the end of their paintbrushes into the paint and dotted on 'snow'. They used the bristle end to add some snow to the tops of the branches. 

Grade 2 results:

Monday, December 1, 2014

Food Chain Collage

This was a collaborative project I did with one of the Science teachers at my school. He was teaching his kids about food chains and wanted an art project to go along with it. He found THIS image via Pinterest and then I made a collage project based on it. 
Basically he was the brains and I was the brawn!

I used 12 x 18" construction paper. Have a background colour (in my case, turquoise). Then start with your largest animal (the top predator, I guess... the Science teacher explained this part to the kids, heh, heh)

I folded my paper vertically so I only had to draw half the polar bear and it also made it symmetrical. I collaged on the eyes, nose and teeth from scraps of paper.

Then make all the other animals slightly smaller... 

My messy workspace below....

Ok- once you have all the animals (our students were required to have 3 animals plus a plant) 
it's time to layer them and glue it all together.

This took some fiddling and such, but I found it easiest to lay it all out and then start from gluing the smallest middle part first (the plant- I lost my mini tree) and work your way up. 
I used dots of white glue. It went faster.

Grade 7 student results!




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